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80+ years of serving the best
Greek steaks in the midwest.

When Mike was six he can remember eating at the
Highway 65 location. Pete Madouras and Mike's
father Larry Mason, a lawyer were good friends.
The tablecloths were meat paper. Pete kept beer
(in Mike's high school years) in the back, it was prohibition
and he and Larry would always argue over
the bill. Mike has three sisters and one brother, Tim.

It was not like now, they could always get right in to
eat. Pete would take care of us with French Fries,
Rice and Spaghetti.

Mike Mason, 50+ years customer

If you have ever longed for the perfect steak, you don't have to go to Kansas City to find one. Just look to the north side of Mason City.

Established in 1920, the Northwestern Steakhouse sits on the very most northern edge of Mason City nuzzled between the baseball fields where many citizens of Mason City spend their summers playing ball. Just to the north are two of the Midwest largest cement plants that provide jobs to many men and women in the area.

In 1932, Pete Maduras and Tony Papouchis moved Pete's Place where they had been serving the customers of River City from a little building on North Federal. T-bone steaks were $.25 and liquor was bootlegged out of the basement.

In 1954 they moved Pete's Place to its present location, 304 16th Street NW. Pete and Tony continued their partnership with Pete being waiter/businessman and Tony was the cook/gardener. They had a large garden with over 200 tomato plants, 50 green pepper plants and numerous other vegetables.

In 1965 Pete wanted to retire and sold the business to Tony. It was at that time the name changed to the Northwestern Steakhouse.

Tony ran the Northwestern Steakhouse planting his garden every year. He collected the fresh vegetables in the summer to use in the restaurant. All of his customers looked forward to Tony's fresh salatas. Tony had a special Greek menu on Sundays.

Today, operated by Tony's son and his wife, Bill and Ann Papouchis, it still has the same unique atmosphere and old wooden booths. The inside walls are adorned with black and white posters of Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, and John Wayne, highlighted by warm yellow lights hanging from the ceiling. In the past, customers milled around the front door, waiting for up to two hours for a booth, growing anxious as the smell of Greek seasonings made their way to the front door from the kitchen in the back. Today an upstairs lounge has been opened for customer's comfort when waiting for a table so you can enjoy a drink and relax.

With a menu touting the finest beef in the Midwest and prepared Greek style with a top secret recipe in olive oil, you can choose from steaks Porterhouse, New York Cut, Rib

Eye, Sirloin, and their famous Fillet. Whatever your preferred cut, each butter-knife, piping hot, tender bite of steak will melt in your mouth.

Meals are served with your choice of baked potatoes, fries, rice smothered in butter, olive oil and Greek seasonings, or spaghetti, made the same as the rice, but topped off with parmesan cheese, bread and salad. The Greek salads are served with feta cheese, black olives, and mild peppers with oil dressing and Greek seasonings.

If you are looking for a greater variety, there is Prime Rib (served on the weekends only), Lamb Chops and Greek Roasted Chicken that people have raved about, both served until gone. There is also Broiled Shrimp and Canadian Walleye for the seafood lovers. Don't leave the kids at home. The Northwestern also serves a kid's plate to include a hamburger platter.

You can finish your mouth watering meal with a fine California red or white wine from their list of liquors or beer and enjoy a wonderful time with friends.

The Northwestern Steakhouse is a "come as you are" place. Originally opened as a restaurant to feed cement plant workers, you will still find men dining there after a long hard day of work. In the next booth, a

young couple out on their first date. Across the aisle, the elderly couple that has been dining at the Northwestern for 30 years. The ultimate dining experience does not necessarily have to be a black tie affair.

"It'll go as long as Bill and I can do it," said Ann Papouchis. "I'd love to see it go on forever. I love the steakhouse and
I'm proud to be a part of a tradition that has been such a big part of people's lives."

"It will never close," added Julie Thomas. "It will never expand either. You get into a chain and you lose that personal
touch."

In a time in America where chain restaurants are trying to take over the world, what chance does a restaurant like the Northwestern Steakhouse have to remain open for another 80 years?

The Northwestern Steakhouse has gone through changes throughout the years but there are many things that remain the same ...laughing waitresses, a warm and inviting atmosphere, and a wonderful dinner prepared with 80 years of experience passed down.

No one can foretell the future but, whatever the future holds for the Northwestern Steakhouse, one thing is for sure, a new generation of Papouchis's may run the steakhouse but Tony's memory is carried on through stories and an oil painting of Tony that hangs above the cash register.


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304 16th Street NW, Mason City IA 50401
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PHONE: 641.423.5075

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